It’s Roasting Season and I’ve Found the Perfect Pan
I’m donating my old sheet pans to charity because I’ve finally found the perfect one.
Would you like my old roasting pans? Because, after 20 years of meh performance I’m finally getting rid of them. But not without a little spark-joy gratitude list first: Thank you for your service, you rusted, dented, patinated baking sheets of various brands. You have done your darndest to roast squash, crisp broccolini, cook tender Brussels sprouts, caramelize carrots, bake cookies and pizzas and countless sheet pan dinners. You have fed my family hundreds of times, but I won’t miss your hot spots and tendency to warp and deform at high heat, nor will I pine for your flimsy flexible manners and tough-to-grip edge and extremely inconsistent behavior in the oven.
With the weather cooling and roasting and baking season upon us, I’ve fallen in love with the new OvenBond sheet pans from Hestan. It’s not often that I find a tool that leads me to discard others, but when it happens it’s a special moment. Hestan, you might know, is the California culinary behemoth that makes grills and cookware and appliances for consumers, as well as pro chefs, including none other than Thomas Keller. Keller has his own line of Hestan cookware and has outfitted the French Laundry kitchen with Hestan appliances. I’m no Keller but now I’m a better baker.
The sheet pan in question is from Hestan’s new line of OvenBond baking and roasting cookware and it’s a beast. It’s heavier than any other sheet pan I’ve owned due to its triple ply construction. The core of the pan is super conductive aluminum, which is clad in layers of high-gloss stainless steel. This construction makes it transfer heat evenly to ingredients, reducing hot spots and ensuring consistent cooking. So far I’ve roasted sweet kabocha squash, kuri squash dressed in red miso, tender broccolini, herby olive oil-kissed yukon golds, and chicken thighs. Each ingredient has achieved the desired browning on the outside while remaining tender within, piece by piece. The potatoes are both crisp and fluffy, the broccolini tender yet charred, the squash custard–like and caramelized. The handles are wide and deep, giving you that positive grip you so desire when removing a scorching hot pan from a blazing oven with hands swaddled in oven mitts.
I recommend getting the 3-piece set, which has a half sheet pan (“half sheet” is what chefs call a civilian-sized 13 x 18-inch pan) and a rack, plus a quarter sheet. That’ll set you up for cookies, sheet pan dinners, and roasted meats for the rest of roasting and baking season. And dang is it a handsome thing. Removing your perfectly cooked meal from the oven on a gleaming pan that looks more like a medieval shield than a baking sheet makes every dinner feel like victory.